Monday, 11 June 2012

Conveyor - Conveyor

Album review by KevW


Well this is an unusual one. After dozens of listens to this debut LP by Brooklyn-based experimental collective Conveyor I'm none the wiser as to what they're about or quite what to make of the album. It's without question interesting, at times fun, at times baffling and occasionally forgettable. Their quest for innovation leads to odd time signatures, unconventional structures and a soup of ideas and influences. Their background in Florida shines through in the summery, tropical tang that flavours much of the album, akin to Vampire Weekend's less bookish, slightly psychotic older brother.

Another unavoidable comparison that's bound to be drawn more than a few times is to Animal Collective. Conveyor seem to share their patchwork, off the wall, chaotic and unorthodox approach to piecing songs together. You're unlikely to hear people busking many of these tunes, put it that way. The sections chop and change, mixing lovely Beach Boys harmonies on 'Mukraker' with unfamiliar rhythms on 'Short Hair' and then jumping to the gentle acoustic chanting of 'Reach'. Afrobeat sounds are never far away and as well as the exotic, spangly guitar work that runs throughout, we also get thudding tribal drums on the directionless and uneventful 'Homes'.

There are some wonderful tracks here such as the jittery 'Mom Talk' and the jaunty, sunkissed shuffle of 'Woolgatherer' but as an overall listen 'Conveyor' is a bit puzzling, which of course is the point, and it certainly makes them stick out as a curiosity that people will be drawn to investigating and discussing. There are bound to be some out there who are already declaring their genius. Whether this album will stretch much further than talking point and curio is far from certain though. For every inspired spot of invention there's an uninspired spot of pointless pissing around. So is this album any good as a whole? To be honest, I still haven't got a bloody clue.



Conveyor's website

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